ALEXANDER PUSHKIN (1799-1837) was a Russian poet, novelist and playwright of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the father of modern Russian literature. His radical politics led to government censorship and periods of banishment from the capital, but he eventually married a popular society beauty and became a regular part of court life. Notoriously touchy about his honor, he died at age thirty-seven in a duel with his wife's alleged lover.
Pushkin is beloved for his poetry, marked by innovative rhymes and rhythms, while at the same time maintaining natural tone and diction, has a very unique and distinct sound that is drastically different from anything written before him. He is also celebrated for his brilliant stories, which range from dramatic tales of love, obsession, and betrayal to dark fables and sparkling comic masterpieces, from satirical epistolary tales and romantic adventures in the manner of Sir Walter Scott to imaginative historical fiction and the haunting dreamworld of "The Queen of Spades" (1834). The five short stories in TALES OF THE LATE IVAN PETROVICH BELKIN (1831) are lightly humorous and yet reveal astonishing human depths, and his short novel, THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER (1836), has been called the most perfect book in Russian literature.
Dramatic works include his most famous historical play, BORIS GODUNOV (1831), written while under the strict surveillance of the Tsar's political police and unable to publish; the fragmentary SCENE FROM FAUST (1825); the four experimental LITTLE TRAGEDIES (1830), which confront greed, envy, lust, and blasphemy; and RUSALKA, a lyric fairy-tale of despair and transformation.
Five translations of Pushkin's "novel in verse", EUGENE ONEGIN (1825-1832), are also featured here, including the massive 4-volume translation and commentary by Vladimir Nabokov. By turns brilliant, entertaining, romantic and serious, it unfolds a panoramic picture of Russian life and traces the development of a young Petersburg dandy as he deals with life and love. Influenced by Byron, Pushkin reveals the nature of his heroes through the emotional colorations found in their witty remarks, nature descriptions, and unexpected actions, all conveyed in stanzas of sonnet length.
Pushkin's use of the Russian language was astonishing in its simplicity and profundity, and formed the basis of the style of Turgenev, Goncharov, and Tolstoy, as well as that of subsequent lyric poets such as Lermontov. His work -- with its nobility of conception and emphasis on civic responsibility, its life-affirming vigour, and its confidence in the triumph of reason over prejudice, of human charity over slavery and oppression -- has struck an echo all over the world, and are regarded both as expressing most completely Russian national consciousness and as transcending national barriers.
The following books are in PDF or ePUB format as noted:
* Boris Godunov & Other Dramatic Works (Oxford World's Classics, 2007). Translated with Notes by James E. Falen. -- PDF
* Bronze Horseman, The: A St Petersburg Story (Translation & Literature, March 2011): 59-71. Translation, Commentary, and Notes by John Dewey. -- PDF
* Bronze Horseman, The: Selected Poems of Alexander Pushkin (Viking, 1982). Translated and Introduced by D. M. Thomas. -- PDF
* Captain's Daughter, The (NYR Books, 2014). Translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler. -- ePUB
* Captain's Daughter & Other Stories, The (Vintage, 2012). Translated by Natalie Duddington and T. Keane. -- ePUB
* Collected Works (Delphi Classics, 2012). Various translators. -- ePUB
* Complete Prose Tales (Norton, 1996). Translated by Gillon R. Aitken. -- PDF
* Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse (Ardis, 2002). Second edition, revised. Translated by Walter Arndt. -- ePUB
* Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse (Oxford World's Classics, 1998). Translated with Notes by James E. Falen. -- ePUB
* Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse (Penguin Classics, 2008). Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Stanley Mitchell. -- ePUB
* Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse (Pantheon, 1964/1972). 4 volumes. Translation and Commentary by Vladimir Nabokov. -- PDF
* Letters of Alexander Pushkin, The (Wisconsin UP, 1967). 3 volumes in one. Translated with Notes by J. Thomas Shaw. -- PDF
* Little Tragedies, The (Yale UP, 2000). Translated with Critical Essays by Nancy K. Anderson. -- PDF
* Novels, Tales, Journeys: The Complete Prose of Alexander Pushkin (Knopf, 2016). Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. -- ePUB
* Pushkin's Fairy Tales (Mayflower, 1978). Translated by Janet Dalley; Lithographs by Arthur Boyd. -- PDF
* Queen of Spades & Other Stories, The (Penguin Classics, 2004). Translated with an Introduction by Rosemary Edmonds. -- ePUB
* Queen of Spades & Selected Works, The (Pushkin Press, 2012). Translated by Anthony Briggs. -- ePUB
* Tales of Belkin, The (Melville House, 2009). Translated by Josh Billings. -- ePUB
* Tales of Belkin & Other Prose Writings, The (Penguin Classics, 1998). Translated by Ronald Wilks, with an Introduction by John Bayley. -- ePUB
* Three Russian Poets: Pushkin, Lermontov, Tyutchev (New Directions, 1944). Translated by Vladimir Nabokov. -- PDF
* Uncensored "Boris Godunov", The: The Case for Pushkin's Original Comedy, with Annotated Text and Translation (Wisconsin UP, 2006). Translated by Antony Wood; edited by Chester Dunning et al. -- PDF
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